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Title: The Conuercyon of swerers - (The Conversion of Swearers)
Author: Hawes, Stephen, -1523
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  [Transcriber’s Note:

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¶The Conuercyon of swerers.


  The frutefull sentẽce & the noble werkes
  To our doctryne wrytẽ ĩ olde ãtyquyte
  By many gret & ryght notable clerkes
  Groũded on reason and hygh auctoryte
  Dyde gyue vs example by good moralyte
  To folowe the trace of trouth and ryght wysnes
  Leuynge our synne and mortall wrechednes

  By theyr wrytynge doth to vs appere
  The famous actes of many a champyon
  In the courte of fame renowned fayre and clere
  And some endyted theyr entencyon
  Cloked in coloure harde in construccyon
  Specyally poetes vnder cloudy fygures
  Couered the trouthe of all theyr scryptures

  So hystoryagraphes all the worthy dedes
  Of kynges and knyghtes dyde put in wrytynge
  To be in mende for theyr memoryall medes
  How sholde we now haue knowledgynge
  Of thynges past / but by theyr endytynge
  Wherfore we ought to prayse them doubteles
  That spent theyr tyme in suche good busynes.

  Amonge all other my good mayster Lydgate
  The eloquent poete and monke of bury
  Dyde bothe contryue and also translate
  Many vertues bokes to be in memory
  Touchynge the trouthe well and sentencyously
  But syth that his deth was intollerable
  I praye god rewarde hym in lyfe perdurable

  Amonge all thynges nothynge so prouffytable
  As is scyence with the sentencyous scrypture
  For worldly rychesse is often transmutable
  As dayly dothe appere well in vre
  Þet scyens a bydeth and is moost sure
  After pouerte to attayne grete rychesse
  Scyens is cause of promocion doubtles

  I lytell or nought expert in poetrye
  Remembrynge my youth so lyght and frayle
  Purpose to compyle here full breuyatly
  A lytell treatyse wofull to bewayle
  The cruell swerers which do god assayle
  On euery syde his swete body to tere
  With terryble othes as often as they swere

  But all for drede plonged in neclygence
  My penne dothe quake to presume to endyte
  But hope at laste to recure this scyence
  Exorteth me ryght hardely to wryte
  To deuoyde ydlenesse by good appetyte
  For ydlenesse the grete moder of synne
  Euery vyce is redy to lette ynne

  I with the same ryght gretely infecte
  Lykely to deye tyll grace by medecyne
  Recured my sekenes my payne to abiecte
  Commaundynge me by her hye power deuyne
  To drawe this treatyse for to enlumyne
  The reders therof by penytencyall pyte
  And to pardon me of theyr benygnyte

  Ryght myghty prỹces of euery crysten regyõ
  I sende you gretynge moche hertly & grace
  Right wel to gouern vpright your dominiõ
  And all your lordes I greete in lyke cace
  By this my lettre your hertes to enbrace
  Besechynge you to prynte it in your mynde
  How for your sake I toke on me mankynde

  And as a lambe moost mekely dyde enclyne
  To suffre the dethe for your redempcyon
  And ye my kynges whiche do nowe domyne
  Ouer my comons in terrestryall mancyon
  By pryncely preemynence and Iuredyccyon
  In your regall courtes do suffre me be rente
  And my tender body with blode all besprente

  Without my grace ye maye nothynge preuayle
  Though ye be kynges for to mayntene your see
  To be a kynge it may nothynge auayle
  Buy yf my grace preserue his dygnyte
  Beholde your seruauntes how they do tere me
  By cruell othes now vpon euery syde
  Aboute the worlde launcynge my woundes wyde

  All the graces whiche I haue you shewed
  Reuoule in mynde ryght ofte ententyfly
  Beholde my body with blody droppes endewed
  Within your realmes nowe torne so pyteously
  Towsed and tugged with othes cruelly
  Some my heed some myn armes and face
  Some my herte do all to rente and race

  They newe agayne do hange me on the rode
  They tere my sydes and are nothynge dysmayde
  My woundes they open and deuoure my blode
  I god and man moost wofully arayde
  To you complayne it maye not be denayde
  Ye nowe do tug me / ye tere me at the roote
  Yet I to you am chefe refuyte and boote

  Wherfore ye kynges reygnynge in renowne
  Refourme your seruauntes in your courte abused
  To good example of euery maner towne
  So that theyr othes whiche they longe haue vsed
  On payne and punysshement be holly refused
  Meke as a Lambe I suffre theyr grete wronge
  I maye take vengeaunce thoughe I tary longe

  I do forbere I wolde haue you amende
  And graunte you mercy and ye wyll it take
  O my swete brederne why do ye offende
  Agayne to tere me whiche deyed for your sake
  Lo se my kyndenes and frome synne awake
  I dyde redeme you from the deuylles chayne
  And spyte of me ye wyll to hym agayne

  Made I not heuen the moost gloryous mansyon
  In whiche I wolde be gladde to haue you in
  Now come swete bretherne to myn habytacyon
  Alas good brederne with your mortall synne
  Why flee ye from me / to torne agayne begynne
  I wrought you I bought you ye can it not denye
  Yet to the deuyll ye go nowe wyllyngly



  Be  (kynde

¶ Agayne
  My payne
  Reteyne   (in mynde

¶ My swete bloode
  On the roode
  Dyde the good   (my broder

¶ My face ryght red
  Myn armes spred
  My woundes bled    (thynke none oder

¶ Beholde thou my syde
  Wounded so ryght wyde
  Bledynge sore that tyde   (all for thyn owne sake

¶ Thus for the I smerted
  Why arte [thou] harde herted
  Be by me conuerted   (& thy swerynge aslake

¶ Tere me nowe no more
  My woundes are sore
  Leue swerynge therfore   (and come to my grace

¶ I am redy
  To graunte mercy
  To the truely   (for thy trespace

¶ Come nowe nere
  My frende dere
  And appere   (before me

¶ I so
  In wo
  Dyde go   (se se

¶ I
  Hy (the


  Vnto me dere broder my loue and my herte
  Turmente me no more with thyn othes grete
  Come vnto my Ioye and agayne reuerte
  From the deuylles snare and his sutyl net
  Beware of the worlde all aboute the set
  Thy flesshe is redy by concupyscence
  To burne thy herte with cursed vyolence

  Thoughe these thre enmyes do sore the assayle
  Vpon euery syde with daungerous iniquite
  But yf thou lyst / they may nothynge preuayle
  Nor yet subdue the with all theyr extremyte
  To do good or yll / all is at thy lyberte
  I do graunte the grace thyn enemyes to subdue
  Swete broder accepte it theyr power to extue

  And ye kynges and prynces of hye noblenes
  With dukes and lordes of euery dygnyte
  Indued with manhode wysdome and ryches
  Ouer the comons hauynge the soueraynte
  Correcte them whiche so do tere me
  By cruell othes without repentaunce
  Amende be tyme lest I take vengeaunce

Exodi vicesimo / non accipies nomen dei tui in vãnum

  Vnto the man I gaue commaundement
  Not to take the name of thy god vaynfully
  As not to swere but at tyme conuenyent
  Before a Iuge to bere recorde truely
  Namynge my name with reuerence mekely
  Vnto the Iuge than there in presence
  By my name to gyue to the good credence

  A my brederne yf that I be wrothe
  It is for cause ye falsly by me swere
  Ye knowe yourselfe that I am very trothe
  Þet wrongfully ye do me rente and tere
  ye neyther loue me nor my Iustyce fere
  And yf ye dyde ye wolde full gentylly
  Obeye my byddynge well and perfytely

  The worldly kynges hauynge the soueraynte
  ye do well obey without resystence
  ye dare not take theyr names in vanyte
  But with grete honoure and eke reuerence
  Than my name more hye of magnyfycence
  ye ought more to drede whiche am kynge of all
  Bothe god and man and reygne celestyall

  No erthely man loueth you so well
  As I do / which mekely dyde enclyne
  For to redeme you from the fendes of hell
  Takynge your kynde by my godhede dyuyne
  you were the fendes I dyde make you myne
  For you swete bretherne I was on the rode
  Gyuynge my body my herte and my blode

  Than why do ye in euery maner of place
  With cruell othes tere my body and herte
  My sydes and woundes it is a pyteous cace
  Alas swete brederne I wolde you conuerte
  For to take vengeaunce ye do me coherte
  From the hous of swerers shall not be absent
  The plage of Iustyce to take punysshement

¶Vnde. Ecclesiastici .xxxiii. Vir multum iurans implebitur
iniquitate et non discedet a domo eius plaga.

  A man moche swerynge with grete iniquite
  Shall be replete and from his mancyon
  The plage of vengeaunce shall not cessed be
  Wherefore ye brederne full of abusyon
  Take ye good hede to this dyscrypcyon
  Come nowe to me and axe forgyuenes
  And be penytente and haue it douteles

Augustinus. Non potest male mori qui bene vixit et vix
bene moritur [qui] male vixit.

  Who in this worlde lyueth well and ryghtwysly
  Sall deye well by ryght good knowlegynge
  Who in this worlde lyueth yll and wrongfully
  Shall hardly scape to haue good endynge
  I do graunte mercy but no tyme enlongynge
  Wherfore good brederne whyles that ye haue space
  Amend your lyfe and come vnto my grace

  My wordes my prelates vnto you do preche
  For to conuerte you from your wretchednes
  But lytell auaylleth you nowe for to teche
  The worlde hathe cast you in such blyndnes
  Lyke vnto stones your hertes hathe hardnes
  That my swete wordes may not reconsyle
  Your hertes harde with mortall synne so vyle

  Wo worthe your hertes so planted in pryde
  Wo worthe your wrath and mortall enuye
  Wo worthe slouth that dothe with you abyde
  Wo worthe also inmesurable glotony
  Wo worthe your tedyus synne of lechery
  Wo worthe you whome I gaue free wyll
  Wo worthe couetyse that dothe your soulse spyll

  Wo worthe shorte Ioye cause of payne eternall
  Wo worthe you that be so peruerted
  Wo worthe your pleasures in the synnes mortall
  Wo worthe you for whome I sore smerted
  Wo worthe you euer but ye be conuerted
  Wo worthe you whose makynge I repente
  Wo worthe your horryble synne so vyolent

  Wo worthe you whiche do me forsake
  Wo worthe you whiche wyllyngely offende
  Wo worthe your swerynge whiche dothe not aslake
  Wo worthe you whiche wyll nothynge amende
  Wo worthe vyce that dothe on you attende
  Wo worthe your grete vnkyndenes to me
  Wo worthe your hertes withouten pyte

  Wo worthe your falshode and your doublenesse
  Wo worthe also your corrupte Iugement
  Wo worthe delyte in worldely rychesse
  Wo worthe bebate without extynguyshment
  Wo worthe your wordes so moche impacyent
  Wo worthe you vnto whome I dyde bote
  And wo worthe you that tere me at the rote

  Blessyd be ye that loue humylyte
  Blessyd be ye that loue trouthe and pacyence
  Blessyd be ye folowynge werkes of equyte
  Blessyd be ye that loue well abstynence
  Blessyd be ye vyrgyns of excellence
  Blessyd be ye which loue well vertue
  Blessyd be ye whiche do the worlde eschue

  Blessyd be ye that heuenly Ioye do loue
  Blessyd be ye in vertuous gouernaunce
  Blessyd be ye whiche do pleasures reproue
  Blessyd be ye that consyder my greuaunce
  Blessyd be ye whiche do take repentaunce
  Blessyd be ye remembrynge my passyon
  Blessyd be ye makynge petycyon

  Blessyd be ye folowynge my trace
  Blessyd be ye louynge trybulacyon
  Blessyd be ye not wyllynge to trespace
  Blessyd be ye of my castycacyon
  Blessyd be ye of good operacyon
  Blessyd be ye vnto me ryght kynde
  Blessyd be you whiche haue me in your mynde

  Blessyd be ye leuynge yll company
  Blessyd be ye hauntynge the vertuous
  Blessyd be ye that my name magnefy
  Blessyd be ye techynge the vycyous
  Blessyd be ye good and relygyous
  Blessyd be ye in the lyfe temperall
  Whiche applye yourselfe to Ioye celestyall

  The brytyll worlde ryght often transmutable
  Who wyll in it his lyfe in tyme well spende
  Shall Ioye attayne after inestymable
  For in the worlde he must fyrst condyscende.
  To take grete payne as his power wyll extende
  Agaynst the worlde the flesshe and the deuyll
  By my grete grace for to withstande theyr euyll

  For who can be a gretter fole than he
  That spendeth his tyme to hym vncertayne
  For a breuyat pleasure of worldly vanyte
  Than after that to haue eternall payne
  Who of the worlde delyteth and is fayne
  Shall after sorowe and cry ve ve
  In an other worlde quante sunt tenebre

  Who is wyser than he that wyll applye
  In the worlde to take payne by due dylygence
  After shorte payne to come to grete glorye
  Whiche is eterne moost hye of excellence
  Where he shall se my grete magnyfycence
  With many aungelles whiche for theyr solace
  Insacyately do beholde my face

  Regarde no Ioye of the erthly consystory
  For lyke as Phebus dothe the snowe relente
  So passeth the Ioyes of the worlde transytory
  Tyme renneth fast tyll worldly lyfe be spente
  Consyder this in your entendemente
  Blessed be they that my worde do here
  And kepe it well, for they are to me dere

  Therfore good brederne your hertes enclyne
  To loue and drede me that am omnipotent
  Bothe god and man in Ioye celestyne
  Beholde my body all to torne and rente
  With your spytefull othes cruell and vyolent
  I loue you ye hate me ye are to harde herted
  I helpe you ye tere me lo how for you I smerted

  Mercy and peace dyde make an vnyte
  Bytwene you and me but trouthe & ryghtwysnesse
  Do nowe complayne byddynge my godheed se
  How that ye breke the lege of sothfastnesse
  They tell me that by Iustyce doubtelesse
  I must take vengeaunce vpon you sykerly
  That by your swerynge, agayne me crucefye

  For at the request of good mercy and peace
  I haue forborne you longe and many a daye
  Þet more and more your synnes do encrease
  Wherfore my Iustyce wyll no more delaye
  But take vengeaunce for all your proude araye
  I warne you ofte ye are nothynge the better
  But ye amende my vengenaunce shall be gretter

¶ Contra iuratores [christi] in celo crucifigentes. per bernardũ
dicit dominus. Nonne satis pro te vulneratus sum? nonne satis pro
te afflictus sum? desine amplius peccare. [quia] magis aggrauat
vulnus peccati [quam] vulnus lateris mei.

  Am not I wounded for the suffycyent
  Haue I not for the ynoughe afflyccyon
  Leue more to synne by good amendement
  The wounde of synne to me is more passyon
  Than the wounde of my syde for thy redempcyon
  Thoughe I do spare I shall you desteny
  But ye amende to brenne eternally

  With my blody woundes I dyde your chartre seale
  Why do you tere it / why do ye breke it so
  Syth it to you is the eternall heale
  And the releace of euerlastynge wo
  Beholde this lettre with the prynte also
  Of myn owne seale by perfyte portrature
  Prynte it in mynde and ye shall helthe recure

  And ye kynges and lordes of renowne
  Exorte your seruauntes theyr swerynge to cease
  Come vnto me and cast your synne adowne
  And I my vengeaunce shall truely releace
  With grace and plente / I shall you encrace
  And brynge you whiche reuolue inwardly
  This is my complaynte to eternall glory.


  ¶The Auctour as foloweth.

  ¶Go lytell treatyse deuoyde of eloquence
  Tremblynge for dreade to approche the maieste
  Of our souereynge lord surmountynge in excellence
  Put under the wynge of his benygnyte
  Submyttynge the to his mercyfull pytie.
  And beseche hys grace to pardon thy rudnesse
  Whych of late was made to eschewe ydlenesse.

¶Thus endeth the conuersyon of swerers, made and compyled
by Stephen Hawys, groome of the chambre of our souerigne lorde
Kyng Henry the seuenth. Enprynted at London, in Fletestrete,
at the sygne of the Sonne, by Wynken de Worde, Prynter vnto
the moost excellent prynses, my lady the kynges graundame,
the yere of our Lord a MCCCCCIX. the first yere of the
reigne of our souerayne lord kyng Henry the VIII.

    [Illustration: {Printer’s symbol}]

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Errors and Irregularities

  Þet scyens a bydeth and is moost sure  [spacing unchanged]
  Reuoule in mynde ryght ofte ententyfly  [error for “Reuolue”?]
  Dyde go   (se se  [open parenthesis missing]
  Wo worthe bebate without extynguyshment  [error for “debate”?]
  For lyke as Phebus dothe the snowe relente  [text reads “Phehus”]
  And the releace of euerlastynge wo  [initial “A” invisible]
  Put under the wynge of his benygnyte  [initial “u” in original]

Unusual letters or letterforms

  Capital U/V is shown as “V” for consistency, although the letterform
  is closer to “U”. Thorn Þ appears several times at the beginning of
  lines, and once in an abbreviation; “th” is used everywhere else.
  A series of lines on page A.iiii. verso, starting with “ye neyther
  loue me nor my Iustyce fere”, have initial lower-case “y”. The first
  of these may have been necessary to avoid collision with the Þ of the
  previous line.

  In verse, nasal abbreviations such as ã and ẽ appear only in lines
  with large initial drop caps. Other abbreviations--mainly in the
  Latin passages--are shown in brackets:  [qui], [christi]. The word
  shown as [thou] was printed as “u” directly above “þ” (not “y”): þͧ.
  Not all computers can display this form correctly.

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